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  1. #1
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    DEET and Lycra... what to do?

    I live in Colorado, where we are oh-so-lucky to have a certain breed of mosquito that is prime for carrying the West Nile Virus. After meeting a few people last summer who suffered horribly from the disease, with encephalitis and even paralysis (!) I am not messing around this year. So I bought some bug spray with DEET like the Disease Control folks recommended, but I noticed on the bottle that it says not to use it on certain fabrics, including lycra. While I certainly don't want West Nile, I also don't want to ruin a bunch of expensive cycling clothes. Does anyone know what DEET does to the fabric? Any other recommendations for bug repellent?
    thanks.

  2. #2
    drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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    Quote Originally Posted by mindhole
    Does anyone know what DEET does to the fabric? Any other recommendations for bug repellent?
    thanks.
    I applied REI's Jungle Juice (95% DEET) on my arms and legs, then touched my Voler lycra shorts with my thumb. All the "springy" fibers in that spot melted away in seconds! I returned the Jungle Juice because I think it's too strong, and like you, I don't want to mess up any more of my biking clothes.

    I have never seen Deep Woods Off melt anyone's clothes.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mindhole
    I live in Colorado, where we are oh-so-lucky to have a certain breed of mosquito that is prime for carrying the West Nile Virus. After meeting a few people last summer who suffered horribly from the disease, with encephalitis and even paralysis (!) I am not messing around this year. So I bought some bug spray with DEET like the Disease Control folks recommended, but I noticed on the bottle that it says not to use it on certain fabrics, including lycra. While I certainly don't want West Nile, I also don't want to ruin a bunch of expensive cycling clothes. Does anyone know what DEET does to the fabric? Any other recommendations for bug repellent?
    thanks.
    Maybe Permethrin®? It's insecticide, not repellent. Use instructions are to soak clothes in it. One application is supposed to last through several washes. Mosquitos will not land on skin treated with deet, so they land on the Permethrin and die. Supposedly this methoi can hit the mosquitos hard.

    I have some Permethrin spray but haven't used it yhet. I am not certain it is safe for Lycra but I will be finding out.

  4. #4
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    Just bought some OFF last evening that is 100% DEET.
    Bought it in preferance to other stuff because it said it was unscented.
    Didn't check the precautions yet though.

  5. #5
    horizontally compliant
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drevil
    I have never seen Deep Woods Off melt anyone's clothes.
    Deep Woods Off melted some of the finish off of my plastic MTB shoes, so it would probably damage (at least over the long term) cycling clothes too.

    There are non-deet bug repellants , though.

  6. #6
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    I took the practical route - wearing cotton so I can spray everything.

  7. #7
    drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simpleton
    Deep Woods Off melted some of the finish off of my plastic MTB shoes, so it would probably damage (at least over the long term) cycling clothes too.

    That's good to know. I don't ride with people that use it much, but the few I've seen spraying OFF never had their clothes "melt" as quickly as the REI Jungle Juice that I used.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simpleton
    Deep Woods Off melted some of the finish off of my plastic MTB shoes, so it would probably damage (at least over the long term) cycling clothes too.

    There are non-deet bug repellants , though.
    I've tried various non deet repellants... but they don't seem to work as weel, or at all in some cases The holy grail would be something that works like deet but doesn't melt all your sh*t.

  9. #9
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    Deet Eats Lycra....

    Quote Originally Posted by mindhole
    I live in Colorado, where we are oh-so-lucky to have a certain breed of mosquito that is prime for carrying the West Nile Virus. After meeting a few people last summer who suffered horribly from the disease, with encephalitis and even paralysis (!) I am not messing around this year. So I bought some bug spray with DEET like the Disease Control folks recommended, but I noticed on the bottle that it says not to use it on certain fabrics, including lycra. While I certainly don't want West Nile, I also don't want to ruin a bunch of expensive cycling clothes. Does anyone know what DEET does to the fabric? Any other recommendations for bug repellent?
    thanks.
    I have a pair of bibs that have hand prints from where I wiped Deet off on them.

    Perhaps Avon Skin so Soft?

    I try not to use any repellant until I'm done riding and have regular clothes back on.

    Ken

  10. #10
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    Makes you wonder what coating yourself in that stuff does long term. I try to make sure I shower pretty soon after being done outside with it on (as if the dirt and sweat aren't reason enough). I'm a mosquito magnet so I use DEET pretty often when I ride.
    Big hoopy.
    Turner Sultan / On One Inbred

  11. #11
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    Here's another recommendation....

    Can the lycra!

    We've had horses test positive already this year down here in El Paso Co. and with the recent rains I'm sure the little buzzards are raring to go. Luckily there is very little standing water near the Park!

    Are you racing again this summer?

  12. #12
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    What to do?

    Deeps woods off is about as effective as old spice for detering skeeters. Here in Wisconsin the Mosquito is the state bird and some of them grow to the size of hummingbirds. But seriously, I've sprayed myself with deepwwods off and have literally watched mosquitos land on the spot I just sprayed! The bugs are thick up here and I certainly don't want to get and of those nasty diseases.
    A couple weeks ago I went biking and got 3 bites on my head where they went through the vents on my helmet! DEET is used rarely in repellents now for a reason, and the reason is cuz it can be worse than whatever that little bug is carrying.

  13. #13
    Perpetually single track
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    Hmm...I'm out in Co. too. I've been going the opposite route and wearing 0 repellant and riding at dusk/dawn times. I got bit 4 times while out in Gunnison yesterday and was quite pleased. I figure I'm 28 and my immune system is in the top shape it will ever be (or close at least)...get the damn West Nile and IN THEORY have immunity for life....
    Course I realize I'm gambling a bit, but I plan to ride in Co (read West Nile country) for a LONG time....I'd like to think I'm hedging my bets.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kristian
    Can the lycra!

    We've had horses test positive already this year down here in El Paso Co. and with the recent rains I'm sure the little buzzards are raring to go. Luckily there is very little standing water near the Park!

    Are you racing again this summer?
    Yup, I'm racing and having a blast!! I'm still not particularly fast, but I really enjoy pushing my limits and riding way faster than I ever feel comfortable doing on our trails up here where there are so many hikers and their six dogs apiece.
    I had a great race in the mud at Winter Park recently, just tearing it up on the technical spots while people were bailing out all around me. But I sucked so bad on the climbs (my legs felt terrible that day) that one girl stopped, threw up, then got back on and passed me. Ouch!! I laugh at that now, for sure.

    I could definitely lose the lycra, but I'm about to spend five days riding in Crested Butte, which surprisingly, is really buggy, and I don't think the nether regions can handle that many hours in the saddle without a chamois. I guess I could do cotton over the lycra and spray that. And that other guy's right... it seems like DEET hardly even helps! No win situation, man.

    What are you up to this summer?

  15. #15
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    I checked the package for the 100% DEET OFF last evening. It said DO NOT SPRAY ON LYCRA (or any other synthetic other than Nylon).

    Here I was out after dusk for about an hour working on the car and got bitten about 6 times.

  16. #16
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    Do ya really wanna....

    put something on your body that melts plastic? Something tells me this is not a good idea. Aren't there reports/studies about DEET causing cancer or gene mutation. I've had some success with natural citronella products. Keep moving and keep the poison off!!

  17. #17

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    I saw some study a while back saying that there were no physical effects of using Deet.
    I live in MN, were the unnoficial state bird is the skiter. Deep woods off seems to do the trick for me. When working out, it neads to be reaplied every now and then because you tend to sweat it off.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by huntforlife
    I saw some study a while back saying that there were no physical effects of using Deet.

    Experiment: Apply stong deet to your lips.

    Actually, don't! They will become numb.

  19. #19
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    Just a couple side effects....

    I mean what mountain biker needs brain cell and stamina? Happy Reading

    http://www.biteblocker-fundraisers.com/page6.html

  20. #20
    Woohooo! Moderator
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by mindhole

    What are you up to this summer?

    Sounds like you're having fun! I'm not up to anything much at all this summer. Like every year lately I'm going to try to set a record for maximum number of feet ascended in a pickup truck or on a chairlift but that's about it. Good luck with your racing!!!

  21. #21
    I like bikes!
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    While I agree that using any chemical on your skin can be bad, so can using a competive products opinion of another product can be a little misguided. The website you posted makes their own insect repellant, and I would not expect them to extoll on the virtues of DEET, do you?

    I would suggest a more nuetral site to get your information such as this


    Drek

  22. #22
    since 4/10/2009
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    Off! Botanicals works for me

    Quote Originally Posted by TrailRiddler
    I've tried various non deet repellants... but they don't seem to work as weel, or at all in some cases The holy grail would be something that works like deet but doesn't melt all your sh*t.
    I've been using Off! Botanicals (pricey @ ~$6 a bottle) for a couple of years now. It uses oil of lemon eucalyptus as its basic repellent. I've also found (and heard from other people) that it's particularly effective against black flies.

    As a testament to its efficacy, I used it when I interned for the Forest Service in the Huron Nat'l Forest in northern lower MI. I started using DEET repellents...didn't do squat for black flies, and it washed off too quickly when it got wet. I started looking for other repellents and tried the botanicals stuff. First of all, it doesn't smell bad at all...it smells like your usual sunscreen lotions. At any rate, I kept a bottle on my person for an entire day of bushwhacking and would only need to reapply once or twice in an 8 hour day. I also used it in southern UT on the mtns last summer, and it kept the skeeters away then.

    I am of the opinion that the only reason the CDC promotes DEET so much is that the chemical industry has some lobby cash involved. If you remember, prior to the West Nile outbreak, DEET was constantly slammed as being a carcinogen, bad for babies, etc. West Nile hits and now DEET is back on top. I avoid DEET because it stinks and it melts my synthetic clothing, not because of any claims people have made about its cancer-causing effects. Now I just wish that some of the DEET alternatives come in sprays as opposed to lotions.

    BTW, I have heard of people using Permethrin on mosquitoes. I talked to an elderly lady a few weeks ago who had the encephalitis/coma last year here in MI. She said a study came out recently showing that Permethrin worked on mosquitoes. I've always heard of Permethrin as most effective against crawling critters like ticks. Anyway, she was going to use every type of repellent/insecticide she could to avoid West Nile this year. I suppose if you're really concerned, you could use DEET, Permethrin, Citronella, and Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus in conjunction with each other. That ought to keep the nasties at bay, but I don't imagine it'll smell too great.

  23. #23
    Tater Like'um Bike Ridez!
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    DEET ALTERNATIVE>>>

    The best mosquito repellent I've found definitely contains Deet. However, I am among those who would rather just ride faster than apply plastic-melting chemicals to my body's largest organ. I live in central VT where mosquitoes and black flies are particularly bad after the snowmelt. The best alternative I've found is Avon Skin-So-Soft applied liberally every few hours under normal, sweaty conditions. Also, the herbal repellants with concentrated spearmint or peppermint (always confuse the 2) seem to work better than nothing. Nothin works better than outridin the little *$%@ers though.

  24. #24
    suck it trebeK
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    I'm of the opinion that given any doubt, I'd rather not spray myself in chemical that may or may not affect me down the road. I like my brain thank you very much. I also don't think Permethrin being a pesticide as well could possibly be good for you either.

    I think using alternatives plus riding like hell all the time is much better

    I'd like to try this 'oil of lemon eucalyptus' thing out too, if it works for the forestry service it must be alright heheh.

  25. #25

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    Here's another alternative

    to insect repellants. A friend of mine has been taking a B vitamin complex and a garlic supplement daily to stave of the mosquitos. Says he never gets bitten even when everyone else is. Says he has seen mosquitos buzzing up to his arms, hover and then fly away to bite someone else. And yes, even though he claims otherwise, his breath sometimes smells of garlic.

  26. #26

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    I helped make DEET

    Years ago I had a chemical plant as a customer and their main product was DEET.

    DEET has several interesting properties. It is a good plastisizer; it dissolves of softens most plastics and synthetic fabrics.

    It is good at transporting things through the skin. Do not use oven cleaner or anything else that is posionous while wearing DEET. More than 14% DEET should not be applyied to children. Asper-DEET is a well known home remedy that works better than any aspercreme but will never be sold over the counter because it cannot be patended and the research and approval costs would never be returned.

    DEET also is a very good bug repelant and in many cases it is the best thing available. Most botanical or other non DEET repelants are not as effective. The chemical industry is working hard to find something better than DEET, because the y'll be able to charge even more money for it. You see right now anyone can make DEET if they want too. So far the best improvement has been low odor DEET. IT is still the same old DEET but with less other smelly by products.

    I no longer have this customer and have no ties to ANY DEET produces or selling businesses.

  27. #27

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    Perhaps this is a sign that you arent riding fast enough.

    Try applying your deet to skin thats showing, and then wearing other clothes over top of your lycra, that way when you touch your clothes you wont get your lycra melted.

  28. #28
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    Okay Vitamin B1

    Quote Originally Posted by natzke
    to insect repellants. A friend of mine has been taking a B vitamin complex and a garlic supplement daily to stave of the mosquitos. Says he never gets bitten even when everyone else is. Says he has seen mosquitos buzzing up to his arms, hover and then fly away to bite someone else. And yes, even though he claims otherwise, his breath sometimes smells of garlic.

    I am told vitamin B also known as Thiamin when taking in slightly larger than normal doses works. I tried this last year for a deep woods camping trip and was bit only once. But I'm not sold that it works as my example really lacks in the area of a scientific study.

    Anyone run accross any real proof that b1 AKA Thiamin does work. what are the references.....?
    Last edited by Baldone; 07-06-2004 at 09:45 AM.

  29. #29
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    Maybe maybe not.

    Anyone run accross any real proof that b1 AKA Thiamin does work. what are the references.....?[/QUOTE]


    Let me start by answering my own question.

    Not prof but a read

    http://www.dietitian.com/thiamin.html

    http://www.bellaonline.com/ArticlesP/art12010.asp

    http://www.highbeam.com/library/doc0.asp?docid=1P1:15775946&refid=ink_d6&skeyword= b1+and+vitamin+and+(sourcetype:news)&teaser=...on+ the+matter+of+vitamin+B1+for+warding+off+mosquitoe s...daily+allowances+for+B1++thiamine.+I...milligr ams+for+women+and+1+milligram+for+children...suppo rt+the+idea+of+B1+as+a+mosquito+repellent...furthe r+discussion+of+vitamins++send+3+and+a+self-addressed...


    Who knows????

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